Dorset Societies

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Family history societies often publish helpful journals, transcripts, compiled genealogies and host helpful websites. They may have ongoing projects to transcribe records and create indexes. Most societies publish queries in their journals and maintain lists of members’ research interests that may be helpful to you. You may want to join one of these societies, reap the benefits of their expertise and resources, or support its efforts.

Addresses of the societies are for the most part where their meetings are held as they are by-and-large not brick-and-mortar institutions.

Regional Societies[edit | edit source]

Avon Valley Archaeological Society
Ann Rose Hall
Greyfriars Community Centre
Christchurch Road
Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1DW UK
Telephone: 02380 332844
Website: Avon Valley Archaeological Society

Promoting archaeology in the Hampshire Avon Valley and surrounding areas of West Hampshire (particularly the New Forest), East Dorset, and South Wiltshire.

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society
Blackmore Vale
The Bow Room
The Exchange
Old Market Hill
Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1FH UK
The Hub
Station Rd
Stalbridge, Dorset DT10 2RG UK
Telephone: 01258 472942
Website: Blackmore Vale

East Dorset
Hilda Coles Learning Centre
Priests House Museum
23-27 High St
Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1HR UK
Telephone: 01202 772327
Website: East Dorset

Mid Somerset
Residents' Lounge
Bluestone Court
Oxendale St
Street, Somerset BA16 0NF UK
Telephone: 01934 712724
Website: Mid Somerset

South Dorset
St Aldhelm’s Church Centre
Spa Rd
Weymouth, Dorset DT3 5EW UK
Telephone: 01305 776008
Website: South Dorset

Kilkenny Court
Station Approach
Taunton, Somerset TA2 7QL UK
Telephone: 01278 722706
Website: Taunton

West Dorset
Loders Village Hall
Bridport, Dorset DT6 3SA UK
Telephone: 01308 425710
Website: West Dorset

West Somerset
Memorial Hall (Doll Museum)
17 High St
Minehead, Somerset TA24 6SF UK
Telephone: 01984 639428
Website: West Dorset

Holy Trinity Church
Lysander Road
Yeovil, Somerset BA20 2BU UK
Website: Yeovil

Website: Somerset & Dorset Family History Society

The Somerset & Dorset Family History Society aims to provide assistance to all those researching their families in the two counties, no matter where they live.

Dorset Societies[edit | edit source]

Association for Portland Archaeology
Telephone: 01305 783701
Website: Association for Portland Archaeology

The Association is a small group dedicated to researching, investigating, and excavating.

Bournemouth and Beyond Discovery Group
Richmond Hill St. Andrews United Reformed Church Hall
St Stephen’s Road
Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6JJ UK
Website: Bournemouth and Beyond Discovery Group

Formerly known as the Bournemouth Local Studies Group, the Group aims to stimulate members’ interest and increase their knowledge about the archaeology, architecture, flora and fauna, geography, history, and people of the Local Area.

Bridport History Society
United Church Hall
East St.
Bridport, Dorset DT6 3LJ UK
Telephone: 01308 425710
Website: Bridport History Society

Cerne Abbas Historical Society
Cerne Abbas Village Hall
Cerne Abbas, Dorset DT2 7GY UK
Telephone: 01300 341269
Website: Cerne Abbas Historical Society

The Society's object shall be to promote knowledge of and care for Cerne Abbas and its region from early times to the present day.

Dorset Family History Society
Treetops Research Centre
Suite 5, Stanley House
3, Fleets Lane
Poole, Dorset BH15 3AJ
Telephone: 01202 785623
Website: Dorset Family History Society

Dorset Family History Society is for beginner and expert researchers who live in the UK or overseas with Dorset interests, as well as those who live in Dorset but whose families may have lived in other counties or countries.

Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society
Dorset County Museum
High West Street
Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1XA UK
Telephone: 01305 262735
Website: Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society

The main purpose of the Society's website is to assist researchers in all the different disciplines or fields of study that the Society supports.

Dorset Record Society
Website: Dorset Record Society

Dorset Record Society was set up in the 1960s with the aim of publishing original manuscripts to make them accessible to the general reader. The Society has concentrated on documents that are not readily available for study, those that are difficult to read, or those that are of particular interest.

East Dorset Antiquarian Society
St Catherine’s Church Hall
4 Lewens La
Wimborne Minster, Dorset BH21 1LE UK
Website: East Dorset Antiquarian Society

The East Dorset Antiquarian Society is an amateur society which is actively engaged in all aspects of archaeology and historical research.

Ferndown Historical Society
Barrington Centre
Pennys Walk
Ferndown, Dorset BH22 9TH UK
Email #2:
Website: Ferndown Historical Society

The society is interested in Ferndown and the surrounding area, including West Parley, Longham, Heatherlands, and West Moors etc.

Gillingham Local History Society
Gillingham Town Hall
School Rd
Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4QR UK
Telephone: 01747 825558
Website: Gillingham Local History Society

The Gillingham Local History Society was founded in 1953 and its aims are to support the Gillingham Museum, an independent museum which is shows you how more than a thousand generations have seen this corner of the Blackmore Vale grow from a Neolithic settlement to what it is today, and to bring local history to the inhabitants of Gillingham and the surrounding area.

Langton Matravers Local History and Preservation Society
Langton Matravers Village Hall
High Street
Swanage, Dorset BH19 3HA UK
Telephone: 01929421481
Website: Langton Matravers Local History and Preservation Society

The Society aims to research, collect, store, exhibit, and publish all aspects of the history of the parish.

Shaftesbury & District Historical Society
Anna McDowell Garden Room
Gold Hill Museum
Shaftesbury, North Dorset SP7 8JW UK
Telephone: 01747 852157
Website: Shaftesbury & District Historical Society

Shaftesbury & District Historical Society owns and manages the Gold Hill Museum, Shaftesbury’s local history museum. This houses a collection exploring everything from Roman archaeology to the area’s agricultural and market heritage, local traditions, domestic life, cottage industries and Saxon roots.

Sherborne Historical Society
Digby Hall
Hound Street
Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3AA UK
Telephone: 01935 813842
Website: Sherborne Historical Society

Founded in 1957, Sherborne Historical Society is a group of people who are interested in history, both local and worldwide.

Verwood Historical Society
Website: Verwood Historical Society

The Society was officially formed in 1978 after several years of meeting in member's homes. For many years it was a very popular and active organisation. However, due to a lack of volunteers willing to take over from the old faithfuls it was decided in May 2016 to end our monthly meetings and summer outings. Our archives are stored in the Verwood Heathland Heritage Centre where they are available to consult during opening hours when an archivist is available.

Wareham Archaeology and Local History Society
Town Hall
East St
Wareham, Dorset BH20 4NS UK
Website: Wareham Archaeology and Local History Society

The Wareham and District Archaeology & Local History Society was first formed in 1985. We are a friendly group of like-minded people from all walks of life, who are brought together by our shared interest in archaeology, local history, and heritage.

Wimborne Historical Society
Wimborne Community Hall
Telephone: 01202 883701
Website: Wimborne Historical Society

The Wimborne History Society has taken on the project of putting together a community history book. This is a huge project and we invite all community members past and present to take part in this book.

Hundred of Yetminster Historical Society
The Jubilee Hall
Church St
Sherborne, Dorset DT9 6LQ UK
Telephone: 01935 812042
Website: Hundred of Yetminster Historical Society

The Hundred of Yetminster History Society to give it the full name, but more often known just as The Yetminster History Society, has been in existence for a number of years. During this time it has collaborated on a number of books and collected a large amount of material relating to the village.